Painkiller Dihydrocodeine May Replace Methodone In Treating Heroin Addicts

by Medindia Content Team on  December 9, 2006 at 1:06 PM Alternative Medicine News
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Painkiller Dihydrocodeine May Replace Methodone In Treating Heroin Addicts
Scottish researchers from Universities of Edinburgh, Napier and Adelaide have found out an alternative painkiller, dihydrocodeine for treating HEROIN addicts. The new drug costs half as much as methadone and is much safer and less toxic too.

'The study findings could have major implications for drug treatment programmes'- say the researchers of the study. This three and a half year long study is the first of its kind in the world, which assessed 235 people requiring treatment for heroin addiction in the city over three years.

The researchers added that dihydrocodeine is easier to store in contrast to methadone, which comes in the liquid form and also comes under less stringent regulations as it is less toxic and is less likely to cause fatal overdoses.

While methadone treatments costs almost Ģ1500 a year for one patient, dihydrocodeine treatments costs only about Ģ700.

Dihydrocodeine has been used for years to treat drug addicts and is often preferred in situations where methadone is seen as hazardous, such as police custody or prison. However, its effectiveness had never been tested before.

Source: Medindia

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what happens though if patients become addicted to the dihydrocodeine itself?. What i mean is: if the patient needs higher and higher dosages as time goes by?
I've been prescribed this drug for several years now, as i suffered from osteo-arthritis of lower spine since young,which progressed to spondylosis (affecting the whole spine now) + other areas of the body now suffering osteo and rheumatic arthrits+fibromyalgia. I had pain for many years and refused even to take so much as a paracetamol.But things became real bad and my GP gave me dihydrocodeine, at first 6 tablets a day and now 8 a day (which i understand is the maximum dose that can be prescribed?) For me,while they don't completely take all pain away, only the edge off it, but this enables me to at least keep mobile, (albeit slowly, with assistance of a walking crutch,not the fault of the dihydrocodeine, but the rheumatic/arthritic conditions themselves.)
Perhaps because my condition will never improve,only worsen as time goes by,there won't be any possibility of my ever coming off this painkiller. For me tho, this drug is wonderful,in allowing me to "keep going" at least. But i have a close friend prescribed these same meds for a cracked rib.And who also is also on these same pain killers permanently now.In his case because his pain became too bad,he took extra than his dosage and is now taking much more than his prescribed dosage. In other words- he's in great trouble, with his family and friends (which include me) worried sick about him and the amount he needs to take now. How can we help him? We did have it out straight with him today (i had to give him some of my tablets) how he needs to seek help.He himself recognises the problem he's in and wants to do something to wean down the amount he now needs. But is afraid to talk with his doctor, as he reckons that our consultations with our GPs are all recorded now. (in the present political climate, that uses "terrorism" as a lever to spy on us all, that wouldn't surprise me one bit) Please can anyone help me, in order to help him. He has promised a member of his family and myself that he is going to start making a positive effort to gradually reduce the amount he's now taking.But like so much -that is easier said than done.Is there no substitute medication he can be given (for example, an idea of mine: perhaps powerfull sedation while going through withdrawals ?)Any advice appreciated please.
Kindest,from morgan

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